In 2019 alone, fire accounted for over $14.8 billion in property damages, with the US fire department responding to home fires every 93 seconds.
All things considered, a home fire can be one of the most devastating experiences. It’s not only a traumatic event, but it could leave you with a major loss of valuables.
Now that you’ve come to terms with what happened, the fire restoration process needs to start.
To make the fire damage restoration process easier for you, we have gathered all the information you need and compiled it into one comprehensive guide that will take you through from start to finish. By taking the fire restoration steps below, there is hope in recovering some of your things and reverse some of the seemingly extensive damages.
Different Types of Damages
For you to start the restoration process, it’s imperative to understand the kind of damage your home has insured. When you understand what you’re dealing with, you will lessen further aggravation and any unnecessary repairs. You see, after a structure goes through a fire, it faces several types of damages.
You are most certainly likely to face soot and smoke damages because it could be covering the walls, ceilings, furniture, and other items.
Smoke and soot are not the same things, and you may be facing wet smoke, dry smoke, or fuel oil smoke. Wet smoke is extremely hard to get rid of because it’s usually characterized by a thick coating with a potent smell.
Dry smoke has a powdery residue and is easier to clean up, and fuel oil smoke is rare in residential homes. Soot, on the other hand, is the by-product of dust, fuels, and fossils. Both soot and smoke need to be cleared immediately because they can stick to your walls and leave a lasting effect for a long time.
You also have to consider water damages since the water was used to put out the fire. If it sits for a while in your home, you may have to work through mold and mildew as well. The floors, drywall, carpets, and rugs could soak up water and get damaged, especially if the water is left standing too long.
For the best results possible, hiring a professional fire restoration company is advisable because the process can be overwhelming for a homeowner.
The Fire Damage Restoration Process
Now that you know what you’re facing and the extent of the damage, let’s get down to the details of the process.
Remember, it’s never a good idea to try DIY methods.
The restoration professionals will start with an assessment of the damage. This is to evaluate the extent and the kind of restoration your property needs. This will help them develop a plan of action and know what kind of skills and tools they will require.
They will also gauge whether the property is safe and well stabilized to enter. During this time, it’s imperative to start taking notes on the details of the damages.
Documenting the damages is essential because it will help you with your insurance claims. Make sure you take pictures and videos as well to show exactly what things look like.
Once the assessment is done, remediation is the next step, and you need to isolate all unsafe areas in the house. Fire and water damage can potentially weaken the house structure, and you need to prevent further damage to your home. You also need to protect your home from looting and vandalism, and rain by repairing or replacing all windows and doors.
Emergency pre-cleaning and drying are vital, so it’s critical to remove all the water in the house and dry it completely. The fire remediation company will have the appropriate equipment to pump all the water out and dry all affected areas. This will prevent mold, mildew, rot, and bad odors.
Removing Smoke and Soot
Once all the water is gone, the smoke and soot follow suit. Pre-cleanup is especially important because both substances can continue to cause damages even after the fire has been long put out. The professionals will use soda blasting to remove the soot, then identify all smoke odors and work to eliminate them.
Smoke residues are removed using air scrubbers and air movers, which improves the air quality in the house, making it safe to breathe.
Given that both soot and ash are acidic, they must be removed from all metallic areas to prevent corrosion. The metals in your home also need to be protected from humidity as well. If rust has already developed, the fire damage restoration company can use rust-removal chemicals or rust converter sprays to stop the rust from progressing.
Mold and Mildew Cleanup
Mold can be potentially dangerous to your health, and given that it spreads quite fast, especially in wet areas, it’s important to get it as fast as possible. Mold also causes a very distinctive odor, and you need professional mold remediation specialists to get rid of it completely.
They will bring state-of-the-art equipment that will prevent the spread of the mold, spores any further, and use anti-fungal or antimicrobial agents to eliminate all colonies. Depending on the extent of the mold on furniture and other items, you may need to remove and replace some of them, like carpets.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Cleaning after a house fire is vital, and the fire restoration company will use air scrubbers and fogging devices to clean and sanitize any restorable items. Cleaning after a house fire is a bit more complicated than just using a mop and a bucket of water because everything needs a different cleaning process.
Beyond this, deodorization is also essential to remove all the odors left behind by fire, smoke, soot, mold, and mildew.
The last step is restoration, which involves getting your home back in order.
You may need major or minor repair and restoration projects depending on the extent of the fire damages. You may also need to replace the drywall, repaint the house, install new carpets, and maybe even reconstruct whole rooms.
All these processes will require professional contractors to get your home back to its former glory.
Hiring the Best Fire Restoration Company
It’s understandable that you may feel disoriented at this point, but you can start by hiring the best fire restoration company in your area. These professionals are experienced in handling these situations effectively and efficiently. They are trained and will come equipped with the right skill sets, tools, and equipment to get your home back in order.
At CTR, we have disaster professionals that specialize in emergency clean up and fire restoration processes. We offer all the services you currently need, from mold remediation to water damages, fire and smoke damage, structural cleaning, construction, among others.
Please feel free to get in touch with us today, and we’ll be more than glad to embark on this journey with you!